Amazon have put up a great biography on the band and I thought you guys would like to check it out! I’ve included a few excerpts below but you can read the entire thing here. Just check out the right sidebar and click “Read More” under Biography.
Zacky Vengeance also confirms that “Fiction” is the only song featuring Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan’s vocals.
“We were going to see if we could write another song or two,” says Shadows of the days following the Rev’s death. “And we couldn’t. We weren’t in the mood for it. Sitting there trying to figure out chord progressions and guitar parts felt ridiculous.”
But soon the band realized that it was impossible for them not to continue, that it would be almost a betrayal of the Rev’s legacy and their love for him. He’d played an integral role in writing and crafting the tracks that had been demoed for the album. And just days before he died, he’d completed his ultimate accomplishment, baring his raw emotions in the song “Fiction” that now seemed to have foretold his own death and assured his friends in no uncertain terms that they had to carry on.
“It’s about how we were feeling at the time and are still feeling,” Shadows says. “When it first happens it’s much more intense. I realize now that we’re going to have to live with it and it’s never going to go away. The record is a lot different than if we hadn’t opened ourselves up right when it happened. We were more vulnerable and willing to put it out on the line.”
“He wouldn’t have wanted us to stop, and if it had been any one of us, it would be the same,” says bassist Christ. “Especially since he had written the song. ‘Fiction’ is one hundred percent his. You want people to hear how brilliant Jimmy really was, his songwriting as well as drumming. A lot of people know how great a drummer he was, but few know what a big part he played in the writing.” “Fiction” makes for an emotional anchor to the album, even if the title now seems like sad irony. The words are at once disturbing and comforting:
“I know you’ll find your own way, when I’m not with you tonight,” Sullivan wrote.
“This song is the proof that every aspect of our friend and every aspect of Avenged Sevenfold is more than just a regular band,” says Vengeance. “Jimmy, talented guy that he was, wrote one of the most clairvoyant songs ever, basically telling everyone goodbye and finishing it days before he died and wanting it to be called ‘Death.’ It’s just a song unlike anything else I’ve ever heard. That’s what we call a true artist, who tried to create something that’s never been done, in a way that touches people. And his voice is on it – the only song with his voice on the album.”
And it’s with “Save Me” that the album – and the band – reach further and deeper than ever before, while at the same time coming full circle to the roots and the raw emotions of this adventure in living. “It’s my favorite track,” says Shadows. “Very Rush, Dream Theatre, but with our own twists. We don’t play too much and try to keep it focused. If you’re going to make an 11-minute song you can’t bore people. The riff is the first riff we made for this record. That dund-dund-dund thing, Jimmy was playing that, such a cool off-time thing. Coolest ever. That kick-drum pattern and then when he speeds up the snare, all over the place. We tried to write a song around it. Jimmy wrote a lot of the song – it was 15 minutes long and we started cutting it down. It was the first one we wrote and the last we finished. We had to get to the point where everything worked. I’m so proud of this. The ending is hard to listen to, but it’s a perfect thing. If you listen to it and let it go straight back to the beginning with ‘Nightmare,’ it comes full circle.”
As a whole, the album draws on everything from the earliest influences and inspirations that bonded the musicians in their youth to the vast spectrum of tastes these friends have developed over the years, reaching far outside the rock and punk universes one might expect.
Thanks Kelly for sending this in!